Modern ideas for the modern music theory classroom

New book by Leigh VanHandel gives educators the right tools for the job.

Today’s music theory instructors face a changing environment, one where the traditional lecture format is in decline. The Routledge Companion to Music Theory Pedagogy, edited by MSU Associate Professor of Music Theory Leigh VanHandel,  addresses this change head-on, featuring battle-tested lesson plans alongside theoretical discussions of music theory curriculum and course design. With the modern student in mind, scholars are developing creative new approaches to teaching music theory, encouraging active student participation within contemporary contexts such as flipped classrooms, music industry programs, and popular music studies.

“My goal was to create a resource that music theory instructors at all institutions — high school, community colleges, conservatories, universities — would find immediately relevant and useful,” VanHandel said. “There are almost 50 lesson plans on a variety of topics that instructors can use in the classroom; the Supplemental Materials website contains handouts and links to recordings to make implementation of each lesson as easy as possible. The book also considers how the 21st century musician relates to music theory, and uses diverse repertoire to ensure representation of women and other underrepresented groups in the pieces studied in the classroom.”

This volume takes a unique approach to provide resources for both the conceptual and pragmatic sides of music theory pedagogy. Each section includes thematic "anchor" chapters that address key issues, accompanied by short "topics" chapters offering applied examples that instructors can readily adopt in their own teaching.

Order a copy online

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